Culture Transcript

Tejano culture is so ingrained in Texas that it is often taken for granted.

And why not? “Tejano” means “Texan”… but with a bit of a Mexican accent.

Regardless of your own cultural background, you cannot experience Texas without the Tejano. It is often the first and usually the most lasting impression for visitors to the Lone Star State.

Here in Texas, many of our favorite foods are Tex-Mex--rooted in the old traditions of Spain and Mexico but made with ingredients that come from right here. Imagine Texas without tamales, enchiladas, tacos, tostados… without the taquerias… without the tequila… without carne asada or cabrito.


And like the food, Tejano music has a unique flavor—not strictly Mexican, but influenced by all the cultures of Texas. Traditional forms of música Norteña and conjunto get Texas toes tapping… and, once mixed with American jazz, blues, and rock-and-roll, they blossom into a popular modern Tejano sound.

Be sure to visit Little Joe y La Familia Museum in Temple for a thrilling immersion into Tejano music. And it’s common knowledge that when Little Joe is playing, everyone is there.

The world of arts and letters in Texas also bears the imprint of the Tejano. Writers such as Americo Paredes integrated folklore and scholarship to share the Mexican American experience, delivering a powerful new Texan voice and challenging stereotypes with vivid language.

The Chicano movement of the 1960s and ‘70s reawakened the tradition of “muralism”—large, often political or spiritual-based paintings in public spaces, often on the side of buildings. These energetic and poetic images are a source of cultural pride and a celebration of heritage. They can be seen throughout the state, with concentrations in El Paso and San Antonio.

Also…Tejano folklore and holidays are written in ink on the Texas calendar. Everyone in Texas is aware of the Mexican traditional celebrations Cinco de Mayo and Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead... and look forward to them with the same excitement as Thanksgiving and the 4th of July.

And if you love to cheer the Dallas Cowboys, repeat after me: “Viva Los Vaqueros de Dallas!” 

After all the Tejano was the original Texan…